How to Deal with Disrespectful in-Laws: 10 Powerful Hacks

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws without losing your sanity? Being treated unequally, unfairly, or with insensitivity, binds us to have negative thoughts and we start feeling low because of others’ behavior.

But can we control others’ behavior, certainly not. The best or the worst thing about giving respect or getting respected is that you cannot just ask for it. 

Staying with someone who does not even respect you and treats you inappropriately bothers you a lot. In this blog, we will discuss dealing with such unhealthy situations.

How to Deal with Disrespectful in-laws?

Love and feelings of respect are mutually exclusive; they co-exist for any relationship to flourish and bloom. Love and respect play a major role like water is to plant, and respect is the foundation of any relationship. How can you survive toxicity in relationships with your in-laws, isn’t it? When you respect someone for how they are you add value to their existence. Now just imagine its reverse; you cannot be respectful to someone just because you don’t like them or you cannot adjust with them.

I had a friend who was a highly educated and senior analyst in a financial advisory group. She was someone of a high cadre, a confident personality, and she portrayed an image of a respectable woman. On the contrary, it was not the same in her household surroundings, as soon as she entered her premises, she was just a daughter-in-law, who is judged and criticized over petty issues.

At any point in time, the prime concern is to maintain peace and happiness in the house. With this thought, I am sharing a few ways through which we can figure out how to deal with disrespectful in laws while staying with them, which also leaves you wondering if staying with in laws is a bad idea. We can follow these steps to stay in harmony with our minds and maintain a peaceful environment in our homes.

1. Draw healthy boundaries
2. Avoid arguments
3. Don’t take things personally
4. Stop assuming
5. Don’t try to prove things
6. Expect less
7. Step back
8. Breathe in Breathe out
9. Believe in yourself
10. Nurture yourself


How to deal with disrespectful in-laws

Ten powerful hacks to Deal with Disrespectful in-laws

It is very easy to fall victim to such a situation and cry for things that you cannot change, but trust me it will only affect your inner state. You will find yourself loathing something you can’t help. It is your in law’s perspective towards you that you cannot work upon, but what you can possibly work on is your own self, start with yourself and things might fall in place in the near future.

As a first step towards yourself, you can start with these below-mentioned ten powerful hacks if you are worried about how to deal with disrespectful in-laws.

1) Draw healthy boundaries

One of the major challenges of marriage is staying with in laws and maintaining a healthy environment in the house. When there are a bunch of different people staying in a single house, it is bound to result in contradicting situations.

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws? Maintain a healthy boundary, give space, and create your space right from the beginning. You cannot command respect but maintain a safe place for yourself so you are not treated disrespectfully.

2) Avoid arguments

It is a difficult situation when you see something wrong and you cannot even voice out for the same. But take a pause for a moment, think about its cause and effects and avoid arguments in the first place.

In most cases, reacting or retaliating over a situation in the spur of the moment only results in overbearing arguments and endless feelings of disgust. Try to avoid an argumentative situation, and the best way to keep up with your dignity is to walk away from that place.

3) Don’t take things personally

It always happens, it happened with me. Whenever our mother-in-law shares her experiences of life, put some example stories of comparison, we take the words spoken by her personally and feel our mother in law might be jealous of us. We are not sure because there is a thin line between arrogance and acceptance here. Be present, and listen, but let nothing which is unpleasant enter your mind and trigger negativity.

We feel that she is attacking us through her words, trying to put us down, maybe she is, but we can just look at it from another perspective and be present as a listener and just forget about it later. Taking things personally will only increase the gap between misunderstandings and feelings of hurt.

4) Stop assuming

In a relationship, even with in laws a void develops when we assume a lot. If my in-laws don’t enjoy eating the food I prepare, I will assume that I am not a good cook and afterwards I will cook half-heartedly. I will not enjoy cooking anymore. We usually do that, we easily doubt our skills and abilities.

In this way, we hand over the key to our happiness to their hands; We allowed them to enter our minds and manipulate the entire thought process. Then how to deal with disrespectful in-laws? Do not assume, do not also take things at face value. Continue to be the better you.

5) Don’t try to prove things

You lose your respect when you raise your voice to prove your point. Raise your ways instead of your voice. If your mother-in-law is degrading you for something and you are not liking it you try to make a point. You try to prove her wrong.

You already do not respect her for her behavior towards you and by raising your voice, you lose respect in front of your spouse and other members. Try to look out for another way and stay away from heated triggers which could turn into fights. If you feel you are right you don’t have to prove it, allow things to settle down and let them take their own time to repair.

6) Expect less

We all talk a lot about expecting less and living more. I feel in a relationship with the in laws it is the golden rule. Acceptance is the basic need in any relationship, with acceptance comes a sense of belongingness and with belongingness comes affection and respect towards the other person.

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws? By setting our expectations right, expecting less will only save us from being overwhelmed with unwanted reactions and unpleasant situations. It is a long journey to travel. Just to gain momentary respect and love never forgo a vision of the long-term and fruitful relationship with your in-laws.

7) Step back

The best way to avoid any unpleasant situation is to step out of it. Withdraw and step back. It will not make you a loser or a weak person; Rather, it will help you think and then act. Not every action needs your immediate reaction, remember this. Especially when you are dealing with your disrespectful mother in law you need to be cautious so that you do not end up being the centre of the mess created by her.

Most of the decisions taken in a fit of rage are the ones we regret later and unfortunately, we do not have an undo button in our life. Step back, shut it down for a while and come back when you can talk with more assertion and clarity. It will help both the members to mellow down.

8) Breathe in Breathe out

We need to do it more often. It is very easy to lose our minds over constant bickering and comparisons and complaints. It makes us feel worthless. But the dire need for love and respect could also lead to a stressed mind. We need to let go, we need to exhale all the built-up negative emotions inside us.

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws? By letting them be the way they are yet not losing their sanity. Shifting our focus to other things always helps. Trust me on this. We need to breathe in all the positivity around our life and breathe out all the negativities in and around our life. Carrying negative emotions will only attract more negativity, and we will pass on the negativity to the other family members.

9) Believe in yourself

No matter how badly you are being treated or insulted, you can never stop believing in yourself. This is one thing; no one is allowed to forget. How to deal with disrespectful in-laws who are constantly biased towards you and criticizing you at every step? By allowing yourself to take time for yourself and think about a positive approach. 

The day when we stop believing in ourselves, we cease to exist. We are not mere bodies, a soul resides within us. We can certainly not control the external factor around us, but we need to take charge of our inner self and that’s somehow to deal with a disrespectful in-law.

10) Nurture Yourself

Take time for the little things in your life. In this whole process of seeking approval, gaining respect, getting attention, and wanting to be loved, we forget to live. We please every member of the family. We whittle ourselves to meet everybody’s needs, in the end, what will we be left with?

I am not asking you to stop trying, but not at your mental peace’s expense. Trust me it is not worth it. How will you manage your own extended family with an unhealthy mind and what strength you will pass on to your kids? Just think about this before you go into self-doubt and pressure yourself over things beyond your control.

Staying sane while dealing with disrespectful in laws

A sane mind can help you rebuild and repair yourself, so invest a little time in yourself.


How to deal with disrespectful in-laws

In one of my blogs, titled, How to Deal with In Laws Living with you & Remain Stress-Free? I pointed out a few essential elements of a happy family. In the end, we all need a comfortable environment to breathe in, isn’t it? We all want a happy ending, but before a happy ending there is always a lot of struggle and ups and downs, remember? So consider these ups and downs as a phase and this too shall pass. 

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws and how one intends to deliver respect in return for such behavior, such types of questions will always bother us but we need to allow ourselves to exhale it. The recipient is not always guilty, is not always wrong, and even the giver is not aware of what she is doing here. But the whole family suffers, relations suffer and what it costs is the peace of the entire house. Just because of a little insensitive approach and who wants that?

In my marriage, I have seen good and bad, as everyone else does. I have lost my mind over petty issues which have cost my mental health and physical health badly. Over the period I did a deep evaluation and self-introspection, which led me to some amazing facts about life. But most importantly I have learned that we as women need to portray ourselves and perceive others a little differently now. It has been ages since we are fighting and cried over the same issues. We have evolved as human species and yet this mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is running like some old cartel with high competition, high stakes, and yet very low productivity.

How to deal with disrespectful in-laws? Living with disrespectful in-laws is not a choice one makes, choosing one is not possible at all. We live with what we got and while living we have to work on making it a little easy journey.

But if we have got this situation in our lives, we need to look at it as a phase in our life, which if not changed completely, can be altered by maintaining healthy boundaries, keeping fewer expectations, letting things go, investing time in self and last but not the least, taking care of ourselves in this whole process. Stay Sane, Stay Healthy. 


Lots of love and gratitude

Write for mental health with Priyanka Joshi

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2 Responses

  1. Very well written post Priyanka. I agree with the pointers. We know us first as an individual and we take guarantee of our behaviour. We can’t change the mentality and their believes so easily because they are following those rituals for a very long time. I think the expectation is the biggest factor which causes disappointed when the desired wishes don’t fulfil. Be real. I feel don’t try to pretend anything. If we do so, maybe initially things settle down but the long term results may shock you.

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